Busting Myths and Breaking Ground: Hypnosis Could Help Your Health

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Busting Myths and Breaking Ground: Hypnosis Could Help Your Health
Young man during hypnosis session in psychologist's office

(AscendHealthy.com) – “You’re getting very sleepy…” is the phrase that comes to mind when we think of hypnosis. What we might not realize is that we might also be getting healthier. While sideshows have touted hypnosis as a magician’s trick, it may actually be a successful way to influence more positive choices. Find out more about the myths and the facts surrounding hypnosis in the article below.


Hypnosis May Encourage Healthier Behaviors.

Myth #1: Hypnosis Isn’t Scientifically Backed

False. Psychologists sometimes use hypnosis during therapy processes. It’s not widely used, and there are many misconceptions about it. But research supports its potential benefits as a tool for therapy, smoking cessation and weight loss, along with other areas of health and wellness. It’s not right for every situation, but it does have medical merit and value when used appropriately. Some of the conditions hypnosis has been used for include pain management, depression, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia and PTSD — to name a few.

Myth #2: Hypnotists Can Make You Do Anything

False. Mentions of hypnosis may conjure images of a stage magician making people cluck like chickens. Fortunately, that’s just part of the act. Hypnosis doesn’t actually put the subject under the hypnotist’s control. While people are more open to suggestions under hypnosis, they can’t be forced to do or say things they would not consent to while fully conscious. Ethical hypnotists usually repeat this safeguard under hypnosis to reinforce the idea and ensure patient safety in disasters or emergencies.

Myth #3: Hypnosis is Just the Placebo Effect

False. Brain scans of people under hypnosis show that there is specific activity in several areas of the brain. Two of those areas focus on controlling and processing what the body does, while the regions aware of actions and responsible for them appear to be disconnected. There may also be some placebo effect in hypnosis, but that’s not the only reason people might make changes afterward.

Myth #4: You’re Asleep During Hypnosis

False. Under hypnosis, people are in a trance-like state, but they’re awake. The trance keeps them relaxed and makes them more willing to accept hypnotic suggestions. They can become drowsy, breathing may slow, and they may be deeply relaxed. During hypnosis, people are often more willing to accept small thoughts or ideas presented to them, potentially leading to healthier behaviors once the session ends.

So, What’s the Bottom Line for Hypnosis and Your Health?

Hypnosis isn’t for everyone, and some people simply can’t be hypnotized, while others are highly suggestible and easily hypnotized. No matter where we fall on the spectrum, hypnosis may be a tool worth exploring. Reducing anxiety or depression, lowering the number on the scale, stopping smoking and even feeling less pain after surgery may all be possible with hypnosis.

The practice has very few side effects. It may cause headache, dizziness, drowsiness or some situational anxiety, but these are generally brief. The potential benefits may outweigh the risks.

Whether it’s to break some harmful habits, form healthy new ones or better understand what makes us tick, working with a certified hypnotist might yield results that seem like magic. If you’re interested in hypnosis, find a qualified hypnotherapist by visiting the National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists.

~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension

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